Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths globally. A multitude of screening methods has been devised for early diagnosis, including the faecal immunochemical test (FIT). This qualitative review aims to discover the barriers and facilitators to the utility of the FIT from the general population’s perspective.
Authors searched five electronic bases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science) till December 2019. The search was conducted using key search terms and qualitative and mixed-method studies were included. Two independent reviewers screened articles and conducted quality appraisal. Data were synthesised thematically.
A total of 11 articles that reported users’ views on FIT kits were included. Three themes were generated from the included articles: FIT kit factors, patients’ perception of colorectal cancer screening, and social health support system. The nature of the test and the supplementary information was found to affect the utilisation of the test. User’s awareness and perspectives towards cancer and screening were found to have impacted the adoption of the FIT kit. Social support and local healthcare systems were also found to have influenced the use of FIT.
This systematic review focuses on addressing and understanding the perception of FIT from first-hand accounts. Since its inception, FIT screening has increased colorectal cancer screening uptake due to its increased reliability and the simplicity of the test. However, there is a need to increase the uptake of FIT kits through increasing accessibility of the screening process and considering the holistic patient experience.